Glossing Over Bacow’s Union-Busting Against Grad Students (letter)

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To the editor:

IHE’s reporting on the resignation of Larry Bacow as Harvard University president reads like a press release.

The mentioned “highlights” of his tenure, and the tone of the article throughout, show incredible deference to Bacow while omitting an initiative of his that has been felt much more viscerally by many on campus: namely, the tough union-busting campaign his administration led against the fledgling Harvard Graduate Students Union.

Slick presentations about Harvard’s commitment to accountability for slavery may make for good PR, but actual diversity in the academy is made possible by material conditions (like living wages, health benefits, and child care) which have only ever been won by mass struggle and unionization.

In this struggle, Bacow chose to place himself on the wrong side of history.

–Benjamin Gammage

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